- Rhymes: -ɛl
From Middle English snell (“quick, fast”) from Old English snel, snell from Proto-Germanic *snellaz (“active, swift, brisk”). Akin to Old Saxon snel, snell, Dutch snel, Old High German snel (whence German schnell (“quick, swift”), Italian snello (“quick, nimble”), Old French esnel, isnel (“snell”), and Occitan isnel, irnel (“snell”)), Old Norse snjallr (“skilful, excellent”) (whence Danish snild (“clever”)).
- Active, brisk or nimble; lively.
- He is a remarkably snell young lad.
- Quick, sudden; sharp.
- That horny-handed, snell, peremptory little man. --Dr. J. Brown.
- Quick-witted; witty.
- Harsh; severe.
snell (plural snells)
- A short line of horsehair, gut, monofilament, etc., by which a fishhook or lure is attached to a longer (and usually heavier) line.